getting started

Share you waterfowl hunting gear tips and questions here. Including blinds, camo, clothing, etc... For decoys and calls, please see the other appropriate forums for that type of genre, Thanks.

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getting started

Postby chasintails » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:58 am

I'm fairly new to waterfowl hunting, but have been bowhunting whitetails and fishing for all my life. Anyway got in on a pond lease with one of my football players fathers and have permission to hunt geese on a couple of fields. I own a dozen duck floaters, an 870, a couple calls, and have desent camo, but thats about it.
What should I be looking at buying first to see success?
A layout blind? Goose Decoys, different calls, a better gun?
I don't have thousands to spend, but do understand the difference between quality and quantity. Looking back at your hunting careers, what would be the thing that sticks out as "I should have got this much sooner" . I know this is a pretty open ended question, I'm just looking for some advice before spending.
Thanks for the replies, I appreciate the help.
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Re: getting started

Postby LiquidA45 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:41 pm

I'm only 24 but what I wish I had sooner is a lease!! So you are well ahead of me. I shoot an 870 as do hundreds of thousands of other guys and most guys that shoot something else have an 870 for backup so you are good there. If the birds want to be on that pond you may be good on decoys but you can never have too many. This year I am trying to get as many goose decoys as I can just to be different and I have read ducks will land with geese more readily than ducks. A layout blind may be a good idea if you don't have much cover. Maybe add some different species to your spread; pintails, teal, whatever you see most common other than mallards. Hope that helps.
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Re: getting started

Postby chasintails » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:00 am

It does,
Should I look for dual purpose decoys (floating and field) or just get a dedicated set for each.
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Re: getting started

Postby LiquidA45 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:25 am

chasintails wrote:It does,
Should I look for dual purpose decoys (floating and field) or just get a dedicated set for each.


I am no expert and these are my opinions, others may join in and correct me...just fyi.

It depends on what you will be doing the most. If you are hunting the pond mostly then get a majority of floaters but sprinkle in some full bodies that you can put along the bank. If you ever do field hunt you cans till use the floaters, just kick some dirt out of the way with the heel of your boot to allow the keel to sit flush. Same idea with full body geese. A lot of guys prefer the Bigfoot and other expensive goose decoys but you can get 4 packs of flocked full body geese online at bass pro for $60 a pop, I ordered three boxes and they all look good in my opinion.
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Re: getting started

Postby NHDuckHunter » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:24 am

Waders. After that, honestly, the next thing I would save for would be a dog. Gun, decoys, shells, call, clothes... dog.
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Re: getting started

Postby LiquidA45 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:39 am

NHDuckHunter wrote:Waders. After that, honestly, the next thing I would save for would be a dog. Gun, decoys, shells, call, clothes... dog.


left this out assuming this was part of your camo, if the pond isn't very deep you might get away with hip waders for a season.
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Re: getting started

Postby chasintails » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:42 am

Sorry forgot to mention I do have waders, and have a great retriever. He has never hunted, but I might take him out to the field to see how he does some morning. Should I just hide in the weeds when field hunting or invest in a layout blind.
Pond has 1 blind and some cat tails to hide in so I think I'm good with that. Thanks and lets keep em coming. All good advice
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Re: getting started

Postby JC523 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:22 pm

If you're gonna hunt the pond a good bit.......get or make a jerk string system. Or anything that will ripple the water some.

If you're gonna try to hunt the fields for geese......I would maybe start with some silhouette (silos) decoys. You can always add full bodies, sleepers, etc. later.

Hopefully you have plenty of cover and a layout blind isn't necessary. A lot of people love them, but I'm not one of them. Don't get me wrong......when I have to use one I will........but I've just never gotten used to them.

The main thing......have fun! You will learn something new on every hunt. Try to apply what you learn to the next hunt. A journal is a good idea. I wish I would have started mine sooner.......and would have kept up with it better.

Good luck!
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Re: getting started

Postby ksfowler166 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:28 pm

The there are several things you need to realize first. 1. Many products today are designed to catch the hunter and contribute nothing to the hunt. 2. How cheap do you want to be. 3. How comfortable to you want to be. 4. How convenient do you want everything to be.

You mentioned hiding in the weeds this is not a good solution do to geese behavior they avoid weedy cover that could conceal a predator and instead prefer open grain fields. Some other good options to a layout blind would be a pit blind or a shallow trench which you lay in covered by a burlap tarp that is brushed in. To many waterfowl hunting is an expensive hobby but it is not necessary so. The old ways are just as effective or more so and are also cheaper.

For me personally there is (was) nothing that I have wanted for my first season but then again I was born into waterfowl hunting and still at 19 always go out with a relative with has the gear we need. If I could have anything else besides what we have it would be a retriever ( we did have three but we seldom hunted them for whatever reason), a boat (though my dad's poor experience hunting from boats makes me question this), a trailer for the geese decoys (though geese hunting is way to much work and we rarely hunt them).

I say you have plenty of stuff to get started and just stick to hunting ducks on the water for your first couple of seasons unless someone else has some decoys.
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Re: getting started

Postby LiquidA45 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:57 pm

Just make a bench or stools out of scrap wood to sit on and sit in the cat tails. Like previously said, you can make it as inexpensive as you want. Save money for gas, shells, and breakfast.
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Re: getting started

Postby chasintails » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:17 pm

Good advice, looking forward to the season. Thanks for all the help.
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Re: getting started

Postby LiquidA45 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:42 pm

take a moment to read the articles that are in the new topic "for all the newbies" or whatever its labeled, excellent post.
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Re: getting started

Postby ksfowler166 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:19 pm

De Oppresso Liber
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Re: getting started

Postby fish dog » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:22 am

Some good info on getting started here (some of it specific to Calif. but most of it in general)...

http://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2012/06/ ... ng-part-1/
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you. -- Gen.9:3
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Re: getting started

Postby quanah labs » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:45 pm

You mentioned that you had a retriever that has never hunted. Be careful assuming that he will do fine, just because he is a retriever and he likes to bring back a tennis ball that he can handle the chaos and boredom associated with a real duck hunt. Maybe he is better than that I'm not trying to talk trash about another mans dog, but my point is , is that an untrained or unruly dog can ruin a hunt several different ways, not to mention it could be dangerous for both you and your dog, so you might want to, at the very least, tune up the OB. Then when you think you have it down tune up the OB again. Then I would make sure he is not gun shy, there are several threads on this site which do a great job describing how to avoid this debilitating condition.

I have found that hunting with my self trained lab is one of my greatest accomplishments and the most rewarding activitie I have ever done, and pretty much the only reason I try so hard to get within shooting range.

Good Luck to you and your dog, you may just discover that waterfowling is one of the best ways a man and dog can bond!
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Re: getting started

Postby chasintails » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:24 pm

Sorry, not sure what OB means?
I'm not planning on taking the dog on anything but a goose hunt in the field at first, to see how he does. He is six now and not a wild puppy anymore, but you are right, I'm not expecting him to be some championship retriever his first time out. My expectations are low, but I won't know unless I try. Thanks
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Re: getting started

Postby Grey Dog » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:15 pm

:welcome:
Two comments:
1. Please DO NOT let your dog's first exposure to gunfire be when you shoot a 12 ga. over his head. Take the time to condition him to it first.

2. A hobby's goodness is evaluated by its ability to consume discretionary funds. Duck hunting is one hell of a hobby.

All right, I lied, here's a third: Find someone more experienced and apprentice with them. You'll learn quicker, you'll both enjoy the day more, they'll have deeks, and a lot of things can happen in the field/marsh, most of it bad. It's a good to have a friend along.

Enjoy the journey! :thumbsup:

GD
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Re: getting started

Postby quanah labs » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:03 pm

chasintails wrote:Sorry, not sure what OB means?
I'm not planning on taking the dog on anything but a goose hunt in the field at first, to see how he does. He is six now and not a wild puppy anymore, but you are right, I'm not expecting him to be some championship retriever his first time out. My expectations are low, but I won't know unless I try. Thanks


OB= obedience
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Re: getting started

Postby fish dog » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:45 pm

If your dog is untrained please leave it at home. Had a hunt ruined once by a guy with a totally untrained lab. He spend most of the day yelling at the dog and chasing it around the hunting area. It got to a point where we were just laughing our butts off because it was so ridiculous. That was about 35 years ago and I still remember the Dog's name (because the guy yelled it about 200 times that day), Flash. I guess he expected the dog to know how to retrieve a duck since it was a lab.
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you. -- Gen.9:3
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Re: getting started

Postby cONG » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:48 pm

I like my power hunter layout blind, that way you can look at the birds, low profile, packs easy. The bad, gun stay outside, hard to get in and out, but don't buy if your big. Some other nice layout is the ground force, cabeles makes so awesome blinds too. I would start buying fully body goose decoys GHG leasers are good, tangle free are nice flocking head @ tails, I like mine, or some ghg fully flocked shells to add numbers. I just spend $200, or so on goose decoys ever year.
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Re: getting started

Postby Idaho Savage » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:23 am

Nothing much to contribute as it's hard to know without seeing your situation, but 1) as mentioned, do not hunt that dog without at least making sure he's not gun shy and safe and 2) that 870 should be the least of your problems. Those guns have killed more birds than Red Riders and cats combined.

I'd personally vote for some motion decoys, assuming they're legal in your state.
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Re: getting started

Postby NHDuckHunter » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:58 am

fish dog wrote:If your dog is untrained please leave it at home. Had a hunt ruined once by a guy with a totally untrained lab. He spend most of the day yelling at the dog and chasing it around the hunting area. It got to a point where we were just laughing our butts off because it was so ridiculous. That was about 35 years ago and I still remember the Dog's name (because the guy yelled it about 200 times that day), Flash. I guess he expected the dog to know how to retrieve a duck since it was a lab.

I was 15 (38 now) and the dogs name was Princess... everyones got that story. :lol3:
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